Gama Bomb - Sea Savage review


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Band: Gama Bomb
Album: Sea Savage
Release date: December 2020

01. Judo Killer
02. Sea Savage
03. Miami Supercops
04. She's Not My Mother, Todd
05. Ironblood
06. Lords Of The Hellfire Club
07. Sheer Khan
08. Rusty Jaw
09. Monsterizer
10. Ready, Steady, Goat!
11. Electric Pentacle
12. Gone Haywire

Like the rest of us, Gama Bomb have spent the bulk of this year living for the lockdown. But as it says in the Bible, all things must return to the sea. Was that the Bible? Maybe it was John Carpenter. I'm pretty sure Devin Townsend said it, at least.

In my review of Speed Between The Lines, I praised Gama Bomb's improvements to the bones of their songwriting, as they had started packing more and more hooks into the bridges and writing more as a full band than as a snappy riff machine. The production has been similarly reflecting a change in mentality over the last decade, seeing the band adopt a heavier and bulkier sound with longer average track lengths (there are two on this album over four minutes - "Sheer Khan" is almost five, and not for nothing!). And, more than anything, what Gama Bomb is these days is smooth - I go back and listen to Citizen Brain all the time, and while nothing may ever dethrone that as my favorite GB CD, you can tell how much the band has improved its technique over time. Yes, we all love that raw electricity that a new and excited band of knuckleheads brings to the table for sure, but those little tweaks in musicianship from record to record - Philly's fuller and stronger vocals, more polished guitars, etc. - have helped the band develop and preserve its energy for the future. The weight of maturity must be turning them into a respectable band or something.

…is what I would say, except that this album contains songs called "Miami Supercops" and "Ready, Steady, Goat!", which argues that Gama Bomb's outlook on aesthetic style, lyrical content, and exploding Terminator buddy-cop rogue ninja retro cybertrash has not changed since day one (as "She's Not My Mother, Todd" berates us, "Yeah, maybe I like explicit lyrics! Maybe I like home taping and titty magazines and sniffing glue and drinking Coors and tossing my hair to one side! What are you gonna do about it, poindexter?!"). I love thrash that's fun, and actually fun, not just 35 minutes of overproduced Exodus worship that happens to include songs about beer and weed so you know how Andrew W.K. PARTY the band is. Gama Bomb is that top-shelf bozo bullshit band that screams about tigers and goats and judo killers (oh my) at 3 in the morning when your mom and your neighbors and the crusty old dean are trying to catch some Zs so they can be well-rested to prevent you from being rad as shit the next day.

So it is with Sea Savage, whose 40 minutes crackle with arm-jellifying drums, laser-sharp riffs, and another fresh-baked batch of bizarre vocal lines. I could keep piling on the buzzwords, but the truth is that Gama Bomb has one of the most interesting vocal operations in metal, and that's crucial to making good on the promises of your cover art. Philly Byrne's phrasing and diction combine the erratic energy, rapid tonal shifts, and temporary insanity of a mad scientist, Muhammad Ali, and your crazy friend who can list every single thing that was wrong with the movie you just watched and is about to do so at warp speed. And that's just his regular singing; he's sounding more and more like Bobby Blitz from Overkill when he goes in for his falsetto screeches, and with the essential gang vocals adding that extra hoarseness that is so important to an authentic thrash sound, Gama Bomb is the equivalent of chilling with the boys and throwing beer at the TV while screaming along to every line of Predator.

For the heck of it, I'll tell you that my favorite tracks are "Iron Blood," "Rusty Jaw," "Sheer Khan," and "Sea Savage." I guess there isn't much else to say, other than to compliment the lovely, foamy greenness of the cover art, once again from famed poster artist Graham Humphreys. See those shrunken heads that Snowy the Gamabombinable Snowman is wielding as some kind of cudgel? I call the big one Philly.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Written on 28.11.2020 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments: 1   [ 1 ignored ]   Visited by: 59 users
28.11.2020 - 17:57
I am the crazy friend who can list every single thing that was wrong with the movie you just watched.
Jusqu'ici, tout va bien...

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